After graduating from Rutgers University with a BA in English, I began my professional life with a small consulting firm in the Washington, DC area. My job was a data analyst. I reviewed different types of documents such as grant proposals, government funding applications, progress reports, etc. for completeness and accuracy of data. If data was missing, or if there were any questions about the documents I made contact with the senders for clarification. I also did some data entry.
The job was alright but after a few months I began to feel restless. I did not think there were a lot of opportunities for advancement. So I enrolled in a local community college and took some computer programming courses. To my surprise I was quite good at programming and had an aptitude for it. The company I was working for won some new projects which had openings for computer programmers. I applied for one of the positions and got it. Thus I began my career in IT.
I was an IT professional for a goodly amount of time and did quite well. I advanced from being a computer programmer to a database programmer, then to a database analyst, then systems analyst. I finally reached the level of senior systems analyst and team leader for systems development projects.
While I was working my IT career God was steadily calling me to ministry. You may wonder what a call from God sounds like. In my case I heard it through other people. For example, I was giving a presentation at a university. After the presentation was finished one of the audience members came and asked me if I was a minister. She said something something about my manner and bearing made her think that I was. I other cases I would go into churches that I had never been and people would think that I was a minister. In one church I was even asked to give a greeting. Still in other cases I would be shopping in a grocery store and elderly people who I never met would ask me for assistance. There were other people around but they would pick me out. Finally, I often experienced people who I’d never met compelled to give me their life stories.
I tried to ignore God’s call. I tried to dismiss these incidents but God is very persistent. So I enrolled in Wesley Theological Seminary and began work on a Master of Divinity degree. I graduated from Wesley and began the next phase of my professional life; that of a United Methodist pastor. My last pastorate was with a small, multicultural, congregation in Pikesville, MD.
Sometimes in life there are situations where no matter how much work and effort you put in them the situation just doesn’t turn out well. The last church was in decline. I and some of the members of the congregation attempted to redevelop the church. We were unsuccessful and the church closed in December of 2009. Since that time I have left the United Methodist Church.
Frankly, the closing of a church is a painful experience. Even though I did not achieve the results I wanted much good came out of the situation. While at Pikesville, I and some of the parishioners formed a family outreach ministry. The ministry eventually became a 501(c)3 organization. Through this non-profit we provided food, clothing, opportunities for fellowship, and referrals to needy families.
I’m happy to say that January of this year I started Althaea Consulting. My goal is to fulfill my misssion of helping start-up, faith-based and small nonprofit organizations while being profitable.